Optical fibers and terminations were subjected to different sterilization techniques, including multiple
autoclaving and treatments with peracetic acid, E-beam and UV radiation. Effects of different sterilization
techniques on key optical and mechanical properties of the fibers and the terminations were revealed. The
primary attention was given to behavior of the coatings on the fibers and adhesives used in the terminations
in harsh sterilization environments. The optical fibers with following four coating/buffer types were
investigated: (i) dual acrylate, (ii) polyimide, (iii) silicone/PEEK and (iv) fluoroacrylate hard cladding/ETFE.
Demand for new safety, sensor, control, information and entertainment technologies in automobiles is stretching the data rate limits of communication networks using conventional wiring and plastic-based fibers. Thus far, the switch to high-bandwidth glass optical fibers has been hindered by concerns about the fiber’s reliability. In this study, we present zero-stress aging data for glass optical fibers with different protective coatings exposed to environmental conditions relevant to the automotive industry.